A successful presentation?

I have just been reading a report about “a highly-successful presentation” between Renault and the Lotus F1 board, which is supposed to have taken place today. This is great stuff, except for one small point. I have just checked with my spies in the Lotus camp and the meeting – a teleconference – has yet to actually take place. It would be truly remarkable, therefore, if it had been highly successful before actually happening. This would seem to underline the fact that the media is being led a dance around Lotus at the moment.

The only conclusion I can reach in all this is that while everyone is being told that Renault is the only game in town, there has to be reason for all the leaks… and the only logical conclusion is that there are other bidders in the process.

The Lotus board of directors is keen to hear what Renault has to say – which tends to confirm my earlier story which suggested that the team has NOT received any offer from Renault prior to the presentation to be made today. Once the details of the offer are made clear (and most of them seem to be out there in the public domain already) there will not be any snap decision-making. The board will meet properly on Friday to have a proper discussion about what to do in the future. Although I expect you will be able to read the outcome of that meeting on other websites on Thursday.

56 thoughts on “A successful presentation?

  1. Do Renault have any other options if they wish to return to F1? Likely not. Interesting to get a sharper picture of what is going on!

  2. Question is, who are the other likely bidders?
    Lawrence Stroller
    Middle Eastern Royalty

    Any suggestions coming back from your contacts Joe?

      1. He’s just laying down the groundwork, measuring out the situation as things are happening very quickly. In this case apparently they are actually happening before they happen, that’s quick. Utilizing clairvoyance a new standard in investigative reporting. It is a sport of innovation.

    1. Joe,ditto.
      Tempted to look on Thursday only to chuckle on Friday.
      Please let us know when the facts are known and keep the wit coming!

  3. Perhaps the Lotus take-over might happen.
    On the other hand, people forget all the sucesses that Renault had as an enginer supplier in the history of F1!
    But if we take into consideration how the PU of Renault has improved in the last GP’s, it would be a real shame to see RBR and STR part ways with Renault. ( Don’t forget the tokens that Renault still have! ) Wish them all succes, particulary after the very unsportman attitude of Toto and the Merc PU customers opposing the de-freezing of the P U’s last year!

    1. Did anyone in the history of F1 give away an advantage that they had earned by doing a better job than their rivals? The sporting response would be to do a better job rather than trying to rein in Merc politically.

  4. Joe,

    I think your right, that Renault might not be the only player in town looking over the Enstone Factory. It is starting to sound a lot like deal’s Andrew Ruhan has done in the pass. He is someone you don’t want to play poker against, as you just don’t know what he will do next or have under the table.
    As I said before, no one can remember the last time he came out the wrong side of a deal, and the one been punted around the media – monkeys’ and there typewriters, doesn’t have Andrew playing any part, and looks on the surface to be taking a massive haircut on his investment, not something he is noted for doing. I also wonder who is actually pulling the strings at Ensotne, surely not Gerard Lopez or Eric Lux.

  5. Joe, got any moles inside the AGA here in the States? I’d like to know what they’re telling my allies in DC.


    1. That is actually how Lotus got its name (apocryphal). Colin Chapman bought a car that was previously unsold at auction and thus labelled lot u/s – lot unsold – lotus. Of course it’s not true, but it’s a good story 🙂

      1. I was told by someone (it may have been my ex-wife’s dad) that Lotus was an acronym – Lots Of Trouble, Usually Serious. Obviously not actually true in terms of how the name was conceived, but still a sentiment that has every Lotus owner I have ever known nodding slowly in agreement…

      2. Another version (possibly in his autobiography) is that the very first Lotus (built using mostly Austin 7 parts if memory serves) got it’s name because Chapman was in full time employment at the time so most of the work took place at night and he chose the name Lotus since it is (apparently) known for ‘coming into bloom’ at night.

  6. So the plot thickens. If the report of Bernie bailing the team out over Charles Pic (I suspected that one) and paying wages for 400 Lotus staff are true, the whole house of cards may be about to come down around Lotus though Bernie has probably got them to Monza at least. I hope it does not happen but the signs are not good.In any case I am unsure how Renault could buy them while the cars have Mercedes engines in the back since I assume the engine supply comes with strict non disclosure conditions which would be hard to meet with renault staff all over Enstone and the pit garages unless they are kept at arms length until after the last race. They would have to start engineering next years car very soon to get out for pre-season testing?

    1. You make a good point with regard to Renault having a good look at the Mercedes engines. Perhaps, by now, most of the details are common knowledge.

  7. Maybe the same person who wrote the report could tell us how many times Maldonado will hurt the car in the coming italian grand prix…

  8. When you’re a seller, particularly a desperate one with little options other than bankruptcy, then it makes sense to be spreading rumours to gullible press about other possible buyers as a stalking horse for your only real option.

  9. Perhaps mr. Carlos Slim, who after all, is regarded to be one of the wealthiest people on our planet, might be interested to buy Lotus.. And if we look at the history of well-known Mexican racing drivers, with the likes of the Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez, Esteban Gutiérrez or Sergio Perez, it would be a golden opportunity. And talking of golden opportunities, what about a F1 Lotus in the national colours of Mexico, being a gold body combined with royal blue stripes!

  10. I’ve just been reading that a hurricane in the Pacific was crossing the dateline and therefore part of it was a hurricane occurring on September 1st (in Western hemisphere) and the other part was a typhoon occurring on September 2nd (in Eastern hemisphere). Did any of involved people travel around the Pacific..?

  11. The last ‘proper’ incarnation of Team Lotus went into administration just after Monza in 1994, didn’t it? Just after Johnny Herbert qualified the car 4th but was wiped out at the first chicane by Irvine.

  12. Cheers Joe – loving your Lotus/Renault stories recently.

    Its just a shame there are so few F1 journalists left worthy of the name – there are barely a handful left capable of writing articles based on their own sources.

  13. One thing is for sure, if Lotus don’t go down its Suppliers base will take it down – a huge swath waiting on this weeks news…………….therefore its deal or bust…………..the saga is a further blemish after Caterham etc on F1 and Bernie would only have stepped in IF he knew a deal was to happen ?………..otherwise Lotus just goes sooner or later so why bother……….and I haven’t known Bernie to be famed for losing too much money………

      1. Joe,
        Autosport is now reporting Lotus’s board will approve the sale to Renault and the the Enstone teams’ financial crisis come from not invoicing Maldonado’s sponsors PDVSA because of the Renault discussions . Can you Joe verify this as true yourself or through any of your trustworthy sources?

        1. I don’t know how they can double guess the board, but after yesterday’s successful meeting prediction who knows. They obviously have balls of crystal!

  14. Hi Joe!
    Maybe I have not understood something you wrote, but it looks to me like you’re saying Renault didn’t call Lotus… this -to me- doesn’t fit with someone else trying to make a deal with Lotus. It’s more a case of Renault waiting for something to happen before they make an offer.
    I’ve just found (Autosport) PVDSA is holding back a $50M payment to Lotus… maybe this is what Renault is expecting… Missing this sort of money on your bank account is not going to help Lotus in bargaining with Renault at all!!!
    Am I wrong?

      1. ??? I believe what you wrote! and you wrote “the meeting – a teleconference – has yet to actually take place. ”
        Has it taken place since? (yesterday or today)

  15. Let us hope that people keep their jobs, and that suppliers get paid too….apart from that the major good out of a rebrand at Enstone would be allowing the Lotus name to be consigned to history. I really abhor the use of such great names as a mock cover for another team, which is also why I’m no fan of badge engineered engines!

      1. Joe and all,

        I suspect this has been done before, but given the legacy of the Toleman, Benetton, Renault, Lotus team what would we, as fans want it to be called? I actually quite like the concept of an Enstone Renault or who knows an Enstone Mercedes !.. I would like some hommage to the Station Lane site in Witney.

  16. It’s a shame for Renault that George Cole is no longer with us. They could have included him on their negotiating team and to open proceedings at this successful meeting, if it ever takes place, he could remark casually, “I hear you’ve fallen out of bed, price-wise.”

  17. The BBC is now “reporting” (parroting) that Bernie says “But they really need to make progress with Renault now to make sure everything is OK.” [Or I won’t get my money back]

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